Thursday, July 30, 2015

Felines, Facia and Friends!

While our friends Guy and Maryse are in Boston, we are home base for their kitty, Tigra.  As Tigra began her life as a feral cat, she is quite independent and there was no keeping her inside.  As per instructions from Guy and Maryse, we let her out the first day!  UGH!  The first night she didn't return to eat--we were concerned, by the second, we were getting worried and by the third, we thought our friends were coming home to no kitty.  Low and behold on the fourth day of her visit, Tigra arrived hungry but in good shape!  We rejoiced, welcomed her with "open arms", so to speak as she is a bit skittish, and told Maryse and Guy they still had a kitty.  

Two months later Tigra has become very comfortable and more present, spending evenings curled up with us on the sofa!  We will miss her when she is gone and have enjoyed her visit.

Here is a sample of one of Tigra's gift to us!  No thanks, Tigra!  We love our birds!  However, last night we were grateful for her hunting skills.  All evening she was sitting alert and trying to find something under the table where we keep our printer.  O.K., so we trusted her instincts and took the area apart and discovered one very large mouse!!  Don caught it by the tail with our, "Snake Catching Tool",  and took it outside followed closely by Tigra.  Needless to say, we slept better knowing that something wasn't running around our house that night.

Our house is not the only one that Juan Carlos is building in Berlin.  Jane and Milton are also building a home and the workers go back and forth depending where they are needed for the current project.  This day they had just finished pouring the concrete floors which is a very labor intensive.  At the end of the day they were all standing around and agreed to pose for a photo!  All nice guys who work very hard!

This is Jane and Milton's house just after the concrete floor was finished.  They now have walls which we will share at a later date.
Although our houses are approximately 4 miles apart by using the road, by way the crow flies however, we can see theirs and they can see ours!

The more that gets done on the outside of the house the more we like our choice of paint color!  Whew!!  The Fascia is a dark stain, the soffit is white and the windows will be teal!

Speaking of windows!  These are our windows being constructed in a little town called Perez Zeledon by a company called SoldaduraCMH.  We have been working with Ceasar, the owner, and Isaac who translates for us.  Each window is custom made, primed, painted and then delivered and installed.  We are eager to see the finished product!

Where the red lines are in the photo will be more metal creating the long narrow French Industrial style window panes we wanting to create.

The electrician has been busy putting all the wiring where it needs to be for lights, switches, fans, appliances and plugs.  This is our main switch box, located in the kitchen, which will be disguised with a bulletin board to help with our vintage memories. 

The window into the Bell Tower looks very dark looking in from the Master Bedroom!

As we look inside it is much brighter, especially with the white paint on the walls.  These photos show before and after the ceiling was added.  Now all we need is the bell!  :)  Anyone know where we can get a church bell?

 The terraza outside our Bedroom has been painted, the ceilings and wiring are in, and the walls inside are been primed.

As we head downstairs, above the landing the roof is still not completed.  The beams need to be extended and the roof added, which we are told is no problem.

The bottom step has been added but not finished.  Eventually, the stairs will have wood tops and tile fronts.  There will be a railing and half wall on the left side of the stairs going up and a space to the right of the stairs for something "special"!

The Living Room and Dining Room walls are finished to a wonderful smoothness.

All of these walls have also been finished to perfection.  The men have worked for weeks, with far more patience and skill that I have, to create a wonderful surface for our walls.

 The view from the Studio ceiling shows the beginning metal supports of a ceiling hung below the roof.

Eventually, our view of the Bell Tower will vanish.  The two small arched windows are located in our Bathroom.  

The fascia around the Bell Tower, Second and First Floors really makes things come together.  Next will be gutters and with rainy season upon us they will be a much needed addition.

Don snapped this photo this morning and look---gutters are on the Bell Tower and the roof over our Bedroom! :)  The men are finishing more roof and the work goes on!

Pura Vida!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Joy of Painting--NOT!

 Now that the roof is on the second floor and the fascia, a dark stain, is attached, it is our job to decide the color we want the house painted. The beams in the house and above the Corridor will be the same dark color stain. As I mentioned before, Juan wants all the work done on the second floor while the scaffolding is up to avoid damaging the new roof.  So, we went to the paint store asking for some samples to take home!  No samples!!  They did have the standard "fan" of all the sample colors but no individual ones for the customer.  I'd like to say it took one visit to the paint store and we were thrilled with our choice, but I'm afraid that wasn't that wasn't the case.  Trying to imagine what a color 1.5" x 1.5", or smaller, is going to look like on a huge house is next to impossible.  The bright yellow you see on the Bell Tower was our first choice!  No thank you!  We could not imagine so much yellow, so back to the paint store.

Color #2, seen here on the right side of the Bell Tower, was closer but a bit too cold!  Back to the paint store and this time we pried the "fan" sample out of the hands of the paint store clerk and took it home with us to do some serious studying and discussing!  Finally, sick of looking at paint swatches, we made a decision and agreed that this would be our choice no matter what.  Three's the charm, right!  This time we chose two colors!  One for the main parts of the house and a bit darker color for the Corridor walls, hoping to add some interest!  Through all our changes, Juan and the workers were very patient and cheerful and we are grateful for their tranquil Tico attitudes!

Ta da!  This is our final color decision!  The name is White Wine--how can we go wrong!  The walls of the corridor will be a slight shade darker, however, they have not put any of that color on yet.

The work going on now is very laborious and the changes are subtle but important.  Much work is being done on smoothing the walls both inside and out.  Ceilings, fascia and soffit  are systematically being added to the second floor.  The soffit is white,  (tinged pink by the reflection of the roof), the fascia is a dark stain  and the ceilings are also white.

Here the soffits look quite pink from the refection of the Terracotta roof.

Our house is ending up with some interesting roof angles and connections.  This particular corner is yet to be connected and covers the landing of our stairs. This shot is taken from the Terrazzo outside our bedroom.

The corridor outside the Studio.  

The large windows in the second story are on the side of the Terrazzo and give us a view of what is happening downstairs, as well as avoiding a blank wall upstairs.  We will be filling these with clear safety glass.  Below you can see the foam that will eventually be covered when the ceiling is finished with glass-board and more cement downstairs.

Another shot from the back Corridor looking toward the rear of the house with the finca down below on the left.  And below, looking to the front of the house.

A peak through the hall window!

Watering is a constant to set up the concrete!  

Our bedroom ceiling with that same pink glow! :)

The cords that are visible hanging down from the ceiling will eventually be canister lights.  After living in Tico houses with a much more conservative  lighting system than we are used to, we may have gone a bit overboard with our lighting!

Again, every wall is smoothed to perfection!

The piles of construction materials are a constant and constantly changing.

Today, instead of leaving you with one of our spectacular sunsets, we have a double rainbow that showed up in the sky yesterday morning as our friends were leaving for the airport!  Pura vida!